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Thursday, 12 December 2013

A Kitten's 12 Days of Christmas Mischief

On the first day of Christmas, my kitten ruined for me...  
A batch of my special hand-print cookies.
I had turned my back to grab the cookie sheet sitting on the stove. In that micro-second, Holly climbed onto the table, poked her paw into the delightfully kneady mixture and, suddenly off-balance, fell into the cookie dough. Net loss? Six cups of flour, four cups of sugar, three slabs of butter.... Of course, it would have been cheaper to remove the feline ingredient, pick out the hairs, and just rename the recipe Paw Print Cookies. 
On the second day of Christmas, my kitten accompanied me.... 
On a trip to our local veterinary surgery.
Who knew that skinny curling ribbon has feline taste appeal? I didn't. Damages: £25 for the vet’s trip, £36 for anaesthesia so the veterinary surgeon could take £55 worth of x-rays in case Holly had taste-tested any other Christmas decorations, and… a heck of a lot of embarrassment when the vet removed the 3' curly ‘tail’ in slightly less than two seconds by tugging at it with a pair of tweezers. 
On the third day of Christmas, my kitten wrecked for me... 
13 ornaments on my Christmas tree.
My mistake was forgetting to chain the decorations to the branches. My other error was leaving the room to go to the bathroom while Holly feigned sleeping under the tree. How was I to know the kitten was actually measuring its’ climbing potential? Value of broken bulbs? £17.50 plus vat.  

On the fourth day of Christmas, my kitten broke for me... 
A statue in my Nativity.
Would you believe now we only have two Wise men plus a headless fella? Nativity figurine: £55.99 
On the fifth day of Christmas, my kitten scratched for me... 
The kid across the street who collects for charity.
 It was an accident. She merely wanted to reach out and touch someone. Unfortunately, she used a unsheathed claw to do so. I settled out-of-court for the cost of a jacket to replace the boy's blood-stained one, and made a hefty donation to the charity of their choice. Although the amount must remain secret according to our settlement, let me put it this way. Think: Major Windfall! 
On the sixth day of Christmas, my kitten opened for me... 
The presents beneath my Christmas tree.
It was only two, really. While doing some early shopping at a well-known discount store, I purchased a catnip mouse for Holly's stocking. Apparently, anything in the same bag as catnip takes on its potent aroma for a very long time. Replacement costs: £3.99 for another roll of Christmas wrapping paper, £4.50 for two empty boxes, £1 each, for the kind of bows Holly can't unravel. 
On the seventh day of Christmas, my kitten lost for me... 
The earrings I bought for my sister Mary.
Actually, it was one earring but since Mary doesn't have a hole in her nose or navel, a pair of matching earrings does make a more appealing gift. Sale price: £29.95 plus vat. 
On the eighth day of Christmas, my kitten helped me... 
Replace my E and G guitar strings.
Would you believe a kitten could fit into the itty-bitty hole in the middle of my Yamaha guitar? Neither could I, but Holly thought so. And she succeeded once she got those rascally strings out of the way. Unfortunately, her little rear end couldn't get out the way she came in. After paying through the whiskers for her previous escapades, I would have been willing to leave her in the guitar for the duration of the holiday season, except that she chose to get stuck two hours before I was due at the nursing home for our annual Christmas carol sing-a-long. Set of steel guitar strings: £12.95; jar of petroleum jelly: £1.20. 
On the ninth day of Christmas, my kitten destroyed for me... 
My Christmas card list when she walked across my computer's delete key.
Cost for call to Computer Country's 0800/help line: £17.50. And I still don't know what happened to the listings of B through H. 
On the tenth day of Christmas, my kitten hid from me..... 
The remote control from my 13-inch TV.
This wouldn't be such a disaster if she hadn't previously stolen the power knob. I missed a week's worth of Christmas specials, including my all-time favourite, "It's a Wonderful Life." Rental of "It's a Wonderful Life": £5; purchase of book, "Good owners, great cats": £24.95. Unfortunately, it doesn’t  even mention the psychological profile of kittens with kleptomania. 
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my kitten ate for me..... 
The drumsticks off my 19-pound turkey.
OK, OK, So this one time it was my fault. I knew I never should have uttered those now infamous words: "Your first turkey, Holly. Want to try just a little piece?" Cost: Christmas Dinner. 
On the twelfth day of Christmas........ 
Holly rested.

And so, thank goodness, did my VISA card.

Monday, 9 December 2013

A Puppy's 12 Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my puppy gave to me: 
The Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the second day of Christmas my puppy gave to me:
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the third day of Christmas my puppy gave to me:
Three punctured ornaments
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me:
Four broken window candles
Three punctured ornaments
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me:
Five chewed-up stockings
Four broken window candles
Three punctured ornaments
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me:
Six yards of soggy ribbon
Five chewed-up stockings
Four broken window candles
Three punctured ornaments
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas my puppy gave to me:
Seven scraps of wrapping paper
Six yards of soggy ribbon
Five chewed-up stockings
Four broken window candles
Three punctured ornaments
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me:
Eight tiny reindeer fragments
Seven scraps of wrapping paper
Six yards of soggy ribbon
Five chewed-up stockings
Four broken window candles
Three punctured ornaments
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me:
My wreath in nine pieces
Eight tiny reindeer fragments
Seven scraps of wrapping paper
Six yards of soggy ribbon
Five chewed-up stockings
Four broken window candles
Three punctured ornaments
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me:
Ten Christmas cards I should’ve mailed
My wreath in nine pieces
Eight tiny reindeer fragments
Seven scraps of wrapping paper
Six yards of soggy ribbon
Five chewed-up stockings
Four broken window candles
Three punctured ornaments
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my puppy gave to me:
Eleven unwrapped presents
Ten Christmas cards I should’ve mailed
My wreath in nine pieces
Eight tiny reindeer fragments
Seven scraps of wrapping paper
Six yards of soggy ribbon
Five chewed-up stockings
Four broken window candles
Three punctured ornaments
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper, from the Christmas tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me:
A dozen puppy kisses
And I forgot all about the other eleven days.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

How can we mourn the loss of our pet?

With the recent loss of Max we began to think again about the process of mourning the loss of a treasured friend. The situation is so different for all involved and needs to be looked at from all sides.
Initially we feel we need to be honest about the variety of feelings being felt, and to discuss them with someone you trust. We have laughed and cried over the last few days. If anyone is going through the same these are some suggestions our clients have offered us to help in the mourning process. Please message us if you would like to share other ideas.
·         Saved your pet’s lead or collar and put it in a special place
·         Have your pets ashes cremated and placed into a special casket
·         Scatter your pet’s ashes in a favourite location, or on a favourite walk.
·         Share favourite memories of your pet with loved ones
·         Plant a flowering perennial in honour of your pet
·         Have a memorial to your pet made, and placed in your garden
·         Keep a tuft of hair from your pet
·         Have a picture of your pet painted
·         Make a scrapbook with pictures of times with your friend
·         Bury your pet in a sacred location (e.g., pet cemetery)
·         Visit a local pet rescue and spend some time with other animals who also might benefit from your love
·         Think about (at some later point) adopting a pet needing a warm, safe home
·         Volunteer to help a rescue group or pet shelter
·         Teach school children about proper pet care and the importance of pets in their lives
·         Financially or physically support the pet of an elderly friend or relative who may no longer have the income or physical ability to provide for his or her constant companion.

If you have trouble getting over your loss, you may want to consult a person trained in dealing with complex grieving problems.
Further help can be found at:

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Pet Smile Month

Well our pets don't smile in the same way we do, but they do have a great set of teeth that are designed to last a lifetime. So regular care is essential to help ensure they stay firmly in place!
How does dental disease happen? Firstly a soft sticky substance called plaque, consisting of food debris and bacteria, adheres to the teeth. If not removed, it gradually builds up to form a hard scale known as tartar, which can lead to inflamed and infected gums (gingivitis). As a result of this we see bad breath, tooth decay, and possible bone loss meaning your pet could begin to lose teeth. In severe cases, oral infections can spread via the bloodstream to affect other internal organs like the liver, kidneys and heart.

But.... we are here to help. Regular brushing, dental checks and feeding your pet a good diet will assist in keeping their teeth and gums healthy. If you would like to know more, then make a free appointment at one of our surgeries, where our nurses can also show you how to brush your pets' teeth, to help them stay in tiptop condition.
If your pet’s teeth are beyond the help of tooth brushing, then we are fully equipped with an ultrasonic scaler and dental machine. We are able to offer scale and polish procedures and can also undertake more advanced dentistry, including tooth extractions, as required. Until the end of November 2013 we are having a Pet Smile Month with free oral examinations by our qualified nurses and discounts on our scale and polishes. Give us a call on 02476 464789 for more information or visit www.broadlanevets.co.uk
Rabbits are particularly prone to teeth problems, and our dental machine enables fast, effective burring, thereby reducing anaesthetic time and risk.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Antifreeze poisoning

We have heard of local cases of antifreeze poisoning in cats in the local area over the last few weeks, so thought you might like a little more information on the subject.
Please be aware of this hidden danger with your pets. Unfortunately many animals like the taste of antifreeze, but ingesting even the smallest amount can lead to kidney failure and death, especially in cats.

How do you keep your pets safe?
Accidental poisonings due to spills and leaks from containers, as well as leaking water coolant from cars happen every year and often results in the death of pets. Some could be avoided by you making regular checks of your car to ensure it is not leaking water coolant. Take great care when storing, using and disposing of antifreeze and water coolant from cars. 
Always keep antifreeze in clearly labelled, robust, sealed containers, high up and away     from pets. 
Clean up any spills immediately, no matter how small, making sure pets cannot access the area until it is clean and safe.
Always dispose of antifreeze safely and responsibly. Contact your local authority for advice on this. 

What if I suspect antifreeze poisoning in my pet?
Sadly there are times when no matter how careful you are an accident happens. If you suspect your pet has come into contact with antifreeze, or leaked water coolant get help from us immediately:
Symptoms include:
Seeming depressed or sleepy 
Appearing drunk and uncoordinated 
Seizures (fits) 
Difficulty breathing 
Increased thirst 
Increased urination 

Signs of antifreeze poisoning can start to show as soon as 30 minutes after ingestion, though it can be two or three days before signs of kidney failure are seen.

Remember the sooner your pet receives veterinary treatment, the better their chances of survival. 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

What is the Practice Standards Scheme?

You may have seen our recent facebook status, tweet or google+ page telling that we had again received practice standard accreditation and wondered…
What is the Practice Standards Scheme?
Pets are often treated as members of the family and owners rightly want to be sure they receive excellent medical treatment.
But how can you be sure?
The regulatory function of the RCVS means that users of veterinary services can be assured that their veterinary surgeon or registered/listed veterinary nurse is properly qualified and fit to practise.
The RCVS can also offer reassurance that those practice premises which it accredits as part of the Practice Standards Scheme meet stringent standards.
It offers peace of mind to clients of accredited practices and a more informed choice to the animal-owning public.
To become accredited, practices volunteer for rigorous inspection every four years and will have met a range of minimum standards including hygiene, 24-hour emergency cover, staff training, certain types of equipment and cost estimation procedures.
RCVS accreditation is not to be confused with a practice being included in the RCVS Register of Veterinary Practice Premises. The RVPP is held by the RCVS on behalf of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, and only veterinary surgeons working from registered premises can supply veterinary medicines.
Look for the logo
For peace of mind, people should look for the RCVS accredited practice logo, which indicates that the practice has passed an independent inspection.
This means high standards of care for animals and peace of mind for animal owners.
Lapel badges

We are wearing our accreditation with pride! Our enamel lapel badges are being worn by all the practice team, to help promote our RCVS-accredited practice status.
For peace of mind, we have have again undergone, and passed, an independent inspection, at all 3 of our sites. We met a range of minimum standards including hygiene, 24-hour emergency cover, staff training, certain types of equipment and cost estimation procedures.
As a practice we are also subject to spot-checks between inspections (and we received one last year!).
The RCVS Practice Standards Scheme (PSS) is a voluntary initiative to accredit veterinary practices in the UK. Through setting standards and carrying out regular inspections, the Scheme aims to promote and maintain the highest standards of veterinary care. This means high standards of care for animals and peace of mind for animal owners.
More information can be found at http://www.rcvs.org.uk/practice-standards-scheme/

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

FREE “Pet Smile Check Ups”

October and November 2013 are Pet Smile Months at Broad Lane Vets and we are offering FREE “Pet Smile Check Upswith our nurses – a complimentary check on your pet’s oral health as well as great discounts on dental treatments, if deemed necessary.

Dental disease is a welfare issue. “Bad breath” is the very least of our pets’ worries. Oral pain is a major feature, but often goes unnoticed because pets usually carry on eating despite their discomfort. As periodontal disease progresses, bacteria spreads from the mouth through the blood stream to affect other organs such as the kidneys and heart valves.

During Pet Smile Month we are offering a FREE “Pet Smile Check Up” to re-check the teeth and gums, and offer advice on what steps need to be taken for your pet in order to improve their oral hygiene.

We can demonstrate tooth brushing and discuss how to look after your pet’s teeth. This can help avoid worsening dental disease and maintain good oral care to prevent having to perform a dental procedure.
If you would like to take part in Pet Smile Month, give us a call today on 02476 464789.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Does my dog need to wear a collar?

Yes they do. This is a legal requirement. Dogs must wear a collar in public. To avoid a hefty fine, owners must also make sure that the dog displays their name and address.
By law, dogs in a public place, it must wear a collar. This collar, a tag attached to the collar, must also bear its owner’s name and address.
Be aware that owners can be fined up to £2000 if they don’t comply. (There are a few exceptions, look at this link:  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/901/article/2/made).
Although it’s not law for the collar or tag to also display the owner’s postcode and phone number, some feel this is advisable, in order to aid a pet’s quick return if he or she is lost.

Many owners believe that if their dog is microchipped, they do not need to have a named collar or tag – this is incorrect. Visual identification is still required (and is also needed in addition to the tag a dog return company might provide). In addition to the legally required identification we recommend microchipping. It makes it easier to identify and return stolen dogs whose collars, or tags, may have been removed. Be aware microchipping is likely to become mandatory in 2016.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Healthy Eating for Pets

Different pets, and breeds, require different food types, nutritional amounts and exercise regimes: It is important to find out what is best for your friend.
Here is a rough idea of of what a 'snack' for a Dog or Cat translates to in human terms. (We do not suggest that these snacks are the correct treats for your pets, but thought it may help to put your pet’s food, versus your own food, into perspective!)

For a dog  of just 10kg, feeding them just 2 human biscuits or 3 crisps or 1oz of cheese, is the equivalent of us eating 2 whole hamburgers. For a cat, just 1 cup of milk for them, is like us eating 5 x hamburgers!!

 We run FREE nutrition and weightwatcher clinics. Give us a call on 02476 464789 to book an appointment with one of our qualified Veterinary Nurses to discuss best food and exercise for your pet.


Sunday, 18 August 2013

Hedgehog Care

With the hedgehog population in decline we can all do our bit to help this year’s hoglets.
Mid to late August is the start of the crisis period for many autumn juvenile hedgehogs. This often goes into November and sometimes youngsters will survive beyond this time.

By putting out food for the hedgehogs under a feeding station we can ensure that any nocturnal visitors will have a plate of food and a dry spot to eat it. Encourage the youngsters into your garden and get them used to your voice etc. Put out food at the same time and in the same place each night. Hedgehogs often have a routine and one may appear at 9pm from under the shed and another at 9.34pm from behind the dustbin and another at 11pm under the gate. Often they will appear again later in the night for another supper.

Once we get to September it’s a good idea to start weighing each juvenile to check it is putting on weight. If it doesn’t increase in weight by perhaps 30-40gms a week (or better still more than that) then you may need to think about whether it has worms. If this is the case get in touch with a local hedgehog rehabilitator – the BHPS may be able to help find your nearest one.

If you are feeding the hedgehogs the general rule of thumb is that if the dish is empty in the morning, and you know it has not been eaten by cats, then put out more the next night.

If you want to find out more about hedgehogs visit the British Hedgehog Preservation Society’s web site at www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk We have a leaflet called “Autumn Juveniles” that you may find of help and interest.

If you find a hedgehog needing help or if you need more advice, call the BHPS on 01584 890801 – it is better to be safe than sorry. Hedgehogs in trouble are usually seen out in the daytime.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Our Favourite Pest - The Flea

Last year was a particularly troublesome one for fleas. A mild winter and warm wet summer resulted in an explosion of flea populations and many pet owners have struggled to keep their pets and homes free of these irritating pests.

Consequently, there has been a lot of media coverage about the issue and you may even have heard rumours of some flea products no longer working or the development of a resistant ‘super flea’.

Don’t worry we would like to reassure you, according to veterinary parasitology experts, there is no scientific evidence of a ‘super flea’ or of resistance developing to any of the established flea products currently on the market, including those used and recommended by our practice.

There are many reasons why a flea problem may appear difficult to control, especially at times of high flea challenge such as we have experienced this summer. To eradicate a home infestation can take 3 months or more, so prevention is always the best policy. If you have a problem, pop in and talk to one of our nurses. They offer ‘flea consultations’ free of charge. Our practice’s first line recommendation for flea control kills adult fleas fast and also contains an ‘insect growth regulator’ that prevents any eggs laid after treatment from hatching, thus helping protect your home from infestation.

Prevention is better than cure

The following Top Tips will help you protect your pets and home from the threat of a flea infestation:

• For prevention, apply a veterinary recommended flea treatment regularly: This can be as infrequent as every 8 weeks for dogs and 6 weeks for cats.

• Continue treatment regularly throughout the year – centrally heated homes are perfect environments for fleas to survive the winter!

• Increase applications to monthly during periods of high challenge e.g. summer to provide optimum control.

• Treat all dogs, cats, and ferrets in your household.

Having problems? Call us!

If your pet currently has fleas or you are struggling with a persistent flea problem despite treatment, please call us on 02476 464789 for advice. We don’t want to scare you but the fleas you see on your pet are just the tip of the iceberg. 95% of the problem is living in your pet’s environment as eggs, larvae and pupae just waiting to re-infest your pet again. That means not only the carpets and furnishings of your home but everywhere your pet goes e.g. cars, caravans, gardens, parks and other houses. We realise that managing fleas can be complex at times and we would be happy to help you resolve the issue as quickly and effectively as possible.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

How to keep your pet safe and well this summer

What a great Summer so far!

We’re all aware of the risks associated with hot weather, with most of us taking precautions to avoid painful sunburn, annoying allergies and the dreaded heatstroke. But are we protecting our pets enough to allow them to enjoy summer too?

White cats are extremely prone to sunburn. This can quickly turn into serious skin cancer, especially on the tips of the nose and ears. We recommend you always apply non-toxic sunblock to these areas, and if you notice any skin changes, contact us immediately.

All responsible rabbit owners worry about fly-strike, a common condition that occurs during warmer weather, when damp and smelly rabbits’ bottoms attract egg-laying flies. These hatching eggs quickly produce flesh-eating maggots. This condition is extremely serious disease, with all rabbits at risk ‘especially obese or older bunnies’. If untreated it is often fatal. However, it is preventable: remember to check your rabbit’s bottom at least twice daily throughout the warmer months. Some people advise attaching an old net curtain to the front of the hutch to prevent flies getting in.

All Spaniel owners will know about the dreaded grass seed. These small, sharp arrows, easily attach themselves to your dog’s coat. We see them regularly in the soft, feathery fur between pads, or in ear canals of ‘hairy ears’. If allowed to progress further, they have been can burrow up through the skin, or even become trapped in eyelids. Head-shaking, and sudden discomfort, are tell-tale signs when returning from walks. Inspect your dog’s coat thoroughly after walks. Ideally try to prevent this painful problem from happening in the first place by clipping the fur from its feet and around its ears.

Bees and wasps can be a potential hazard at this time of year. Inquisitive puppies and kittens once beginning to explore their new gardens, often disturb stinging insects, trying to eat them! Similarly, dogs rummaging around in undergrowth, off their leads are at risk from adder bites. We saw a dog bitten by an adder at the practice last Summer! These affected areas quickly becoming swollen and painful. Contact us immediately if you suspect your pet is in trouble.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Hoglets are here.

Baby hedgehogs (hoglets) will continue to be born throughout July.  If you see the same hedgehog around then it is likely to be a female.  They often have regular routes that they follow when they are foraging, so if you see a hedgehog by the shed at 10pm then it may well be there again the next night at or around that time.

There is a great deal of worry amongst hedgehog rehabilitators that there are so few hedgehogs being admitted.  Whilst it is good not to have them needing care it also means that there are not so many around.  This is also confirmed by the lack of kills seen on our roads.  Death rates are believed to have been high during the extended winter hibernation so every hedgehog seen is even more precious and its well-being is necessary to aid the hedgehogs’ dwindling population.

Kate Bullen suggests we can all help by making our gardens safer for hedgehogs, and by providing food and water for them.  To protect the food, from both cats and the weather, make a feeding station, for example try putting a paving slab on bricks (leave a gap between 2 of the bricks as an entrance hole); or use a rabbit hutch with its door wedged partly open; or an upside down plastic dog bed.   As a final suggestion, try to get one of those deep plastic mushroom boxes, or an under the bed storage box.   Cut a 5 x 5 inch hole in one of the short sides so when the box is upside down the hole becomes an entrance.  Put water and food (meat based dog or cat food or a propriety brand of complete hedgehog food) at the far end and weigh the box down with a stone.

If you have a shed or summer house that is raised off the ground slightly food can be put under this.  However this is also a favourite place for a female to make her nursery nest so before using it as a feeding station check there is not a nest there.  The female hedgehog will not be happy about other hedgehogs coming to a food source so close to her babies.

If you want to find out more about hedgehogs visit the British Hedgehog Preservation Society’s web site at www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk

If you find a hedgehog needing help or if you need more advice call the BHPS on 01584 890801 – it is better to be safe than sorry.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Hot weather advice for your pet

We all know how uncomfortable we can feel, out and about, in this wonderful weather. Sadly this warm or hot weather can cause distress, suffering or even lead to the death of our pets. It’s important that you are aware of your pets’ needs in warm and hot weather and know how to deal with these.
Many animals can’t sweat through their skin in the same way as humans.  They only cool down by sweating through sweat glands in their feet and panting. So it’s important that you help your pets to stay cool.
Here’s a few thoughts:

Never leave your pet in a car on a warm or hot day
·      This can cause distress and suffering, and lead to death. It can get unbearably hot in a car on a sunny day, even when it’s not that warm. Leaving a window part way down is not enough.

In fact, when it’s 22°C/72°F outside, the temperature inside a car can soar to 47°C/117°F within 60 minutes.

Never leave your pet in direct sunlight
·      If your pet is unable to escape to a cooler, more shady environment when it’s feeling hot, it may become unwell and suffer.   
·      Animals should always be housed out of direct sunlight.   Make sure your pet can get to a cool, shady place to escape from the sun at all times of day.  This includes outdoor enclosures where small animals and birds are kept
·       Fish should also be kept out of direct sunlight, and their water kept clean, well oxygenated and algae free.

Make sure your pet has a constant supply of clean, fresh drinking water
·         To keep cool, it’s important that your pet can replace any water that is lost through sweating and panting, otherwise it could become dehydrated.  So check and fill water bowls or bottles regularly, especially for outdoor rabbits. A good tip is to fill a 2 litre plastic bottle 3/4 full with water and freeze it. During hot days take it out and put it in with your small pets. The frozen water gives them something cool to lean against, helping them deal with the heat.  

Exercise your pet at times when it is cooler
·         Animals still need exercise when it’s hot, but don’t allow pets to exercise too much in hot weather.  It is best to walk dogs early in the morning or later in the evening, when it’s cooler.
·         If at all possible, keep cats indoors in the heat of the day if the forecast is hot.

Protect your pet from sunburn
·         Animals can get sunburnt too, especially those with light coloured noses, or light coloured fur on their ears.  Ask us for advice on pet-safe sunscreens.

Be aware of the signs of heat-stroke
·         Heatstroke in pets can be fatal and you should do everything you can to prevent it.
·         Signs of heat stroke are excessive panting, heavy salivation, rapid pulse, very red gums/tongue, lethargy (tiredness), lack of co-ordination, being unable to get up after collapsing, vomiting, diarrhoea.  In extreme cases, loss of consciousness is likely. 

 If you suspect that your pet has heat-stroke, move it to a shaded, cool area and contact us immediately for advice. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fly-strike in rabbits 

Check your rabbit for signs of illness or injury every day, and make sure this is done by someone else if you are away.  In warm weather you should check the fur and skin around your rabbit’s rear end and tail area twice a day, as urine staining or droppings that are stuck will attract flies, which can lay eggs and cause fly-strike which is often fatal.                                                                

If you are worried about your pet in this spell of glorious weather call us on 02476 464789. We are open 7 days a week. Visit us at: www.broadlanevets.co.uk for our opening hours. Remember 24 hours a day someone can help and advise you. 

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Dental Disease in cats and dogs

Dogs and Cats, like us, have 2 sets of teeth in their life time. Their deciduous teeth (milk teeth) erupt between 4-6 weeks of age and are replaced by their adult/permanent dentition between 4-6 months of age. Problems with teeth can be identified by discoloured teeth, red gums, bad breath, difficulty eating, dribbling and pain. Dental issues can act as a source of infection, which can cause disease elsewhere in the body e.g. kidney and heart infections.
Dental disease in pet dogs and cats is one of the most common problems we see at the practice. In some studies, up to 85% of dogs have been reported to have dental disease. There is no reason we should treat our pet’s teeth any differently to the way we do ours. This however is not always practical.
Tooth brushing is the ideal. No amount of brushing however will replace the need for specialist dental scaling and polishing to achieve optimal dental health.

When assessing a pet’s dental health, decisions have to be made as to the benefits of dental treatment. In the vast majority of healthy pets with dental disease the benefits to overall health, of dental scaling and polishing, outweigh any risks.
There are many benefits to removing the plaque and tartar (treating inflammation and infection) and extracting severely damaged teeth, including:
1.    Removal of pain for the individual
2.    Reduction of inflammation and bacteria in the mouth, reducing risks to other organs in the body  e.g. Kidneys, Heart and gastrointestinal tract.
3.    Greater ability to self groom – a very important factor for cats in particular
4.    Sweeter smelling breath!

Our nurses offer free dental advice and are more than happy to show you how to brush your pet’s teeth. They can talk to you about other ways of looking after your pet’s dentition if you find brushing difficult. Just call us for a free appointment.